Meet Mompreneur Elina Furman. Elina is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with over 15 years in the baby products industry. She is deeply passionate about spreading awareness about the importance of baby/child massage. In June 2022, Elina officially launched Kahlmi, the first bonding and massage tool for babies/children using acu-touch technology and gentle, low-frequency vibration to help families connect, calm, and comfort.
Gugu Guru: How and why did you start your company?
Elina Furman: My journey with baby massage began with my own experience as a new parent. As a work-at-home mom with a colicky baby, I struggled with postpartum anxiety. As my son grew older, he developed anxiety as well. To help my son with anxiety, I had been working with a few therapists and started doing my own research into studies and discovered that baby and child massage was often used with kids his age. There was mounting evidence that early massage was a strong indicator of healthy social, physical, and emotional development. I wished I had done massage with him when he was little but there was no use looking backward. I started a massage routine with him and found it really allayed so much of his anxiety. That’s when I realized that baby massage was one of the most important practices that served both the parent and the baby equally. I vowed to bring awareness to this ancient practice to help other new parents and further baby massage education around the world.
Soon after I became a certified infant massage instructor and developed Kahlmi, the first baby massager that eliminates many of the fears and barriers to massage that so many new parents feel. By helping to empower and educate families about the importance of two-way physical communication in an ever-increasingly disconnected world, I hope to provide a strong foundation for families built on trust, touch, and love.
GG: How do you balance work and family?
EF: For me as a mom founder, I am always struggling to balance the daily responsibilities of the household and my kids with the needs of my business. Time is always the biggest challenge and I am always working on coming up with efficient ways to get everything done while trying to be available for my family.
For example, my day has to end at 3 pm when I start the driving for after-school activities. I have started to work outside the home on weekends and leaving kids with Dad for a bit so I can complete the endless list of to-dos that pile up every week. It’s an ongoing challenge.
GG: What’s the best part of being a “mompreneur” and running your own business?
EF: The best part of being a mompreneur is setting an example for my two boys and showing them that hard work and risk pay off. They have seen me go from full-time work at the helm of my own baby product marketing agency to taking a year-long break, to the start-up phase of starting and launching Kahlmi and all that entails. While they don’t often show interest in what I am doing, there are moments of breakthrough when they see a new product I have drawn arrive in a sealed factory box and when they recently watched me pitch in a business competition live on stage and win an award. I could see how proud they were of me and that was all the validation I needed to keep going.
GG: What is your top baby product must-have?
EF: I have a few. I love innovative products that solve a real problem for parents. Binxy Baby is a genius shopping cart hammock that attaches to a shopping cart so your baby can be comfortable and kept in eyesight. Tush Baby really solved a big problem for parents in terms of staying close while having freedom of movement. I love Nozebot nasal aspirator. Lalabu is amazing because it solves the issue of being closer to your baby in a more seamless and comfortable way. I am also a huge fan of maternity bras from Davin and Adley.